November 4, 2013

"For Many Iranians, 'Death To America' Are Just Words."

NPR assures.

Just words?! Hey, don't tell me words don't matter!



It's just by chance that the old Obama "just words" speech came to mind there. Pure coincidence that it comes the day after all that talk about Rand Paul and plagiarism. But this was the speech where he lifted his best lines from Deval Patrick.

Just words!

29 comments:

paul a'barge said...

more words:
"I'm from the government and I'm here to HELP you."

Robert Cook said...

If they don't have the capacity to follow up their words, they're just words. They don't have the capacity to follow up on their words, (and scant indication they even have the desire to do so).

It's just political rhetoric.

David said...

For many Germans in the Nazi era, the words "death to the jews" were just words also. Didn't stop the jew-killers then and won't now.

Death to America is a metaphor. Death to the jews is a program, and this program is alive and well in some powerful minds in the Middle East. And in Iran.

The words "never again" are not just words for the Israelis. We will see if the present government of the United States cares to help them. I don't think they are counting on it.

Larry J said...

If history is any guide, whenever someone calls for your death, it's a good idea to take them at their word.

Curious George said...



Blogger Curious George said...
"Just words?"
"It's just by chance that the old Obama "just words" speech came to mind there. Pure coincidence that it comes the day after all that talk about Rand Paul and plagiarism. But this was the speech where he lifted his best lines from Deval Patrick."

WHAT? I commented "just words" in that Rand Paul. Look ike you too are a plagerist. :-)

And don't say you didn't know...you commented right after I did!

Curious George said...
"Just words?"

11/3/13, 6:50 PM Delete

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
"Agreed. Along the same vein, his complaint that he is being treated unfairly is also politics and therefore is a fair complaint."

Good point. I agree.

11/3/13, 7:03 PM

Cedarford said...

Unfortunately, it is a statement of hostility literal or not, that indicates a desire by an enemy to end our existence. You can't get around that. Until that expression is abandoned by Iranian leadership, there can be no true full reapproachement between the two countries.
It is like when Nikita Khrushchev said "we will bury you". we knew at the time, (unlike with the Iranians) that he didn't mean it literally. Only that their system was better and ours would be toppled. But it was something every good communist believed at the height of the Cold War.

But even before the Fall of the Soviet Union, we achieved great steps in lessening the chance of war and diminishing both countries spreading global mischief.

With Iran, the 1st step, same as the Russians, is to get the nuclear matter under control and get assurances that both sides will not attack the others people at home of abroad.
That started 7 years after Khrushchev's disturbing comment with SALT I. It needs to happen with Iran, even with that stupid Iranian Revolutionary slogan still in place after 34 years.

tim maguire said...

I've heard this before and maybe there's something to it. "Death to..." is common Iranian protest phrasing and not actually a call for violence.

I can't find the article. "'Death to' in iranian protest speech" is just too rich a vein on google.

Robert Cook said...

"It is like when Nikita Khrushchev said 'we will bury you.' we knew at the time, (unlike with the Iranians) that he didn't mean it literally."

Did we know that at the time? Do we not also know now the Iranians don't mean it literally?

Someone else here mentioned history being a guide; well, Iran has not attacked any other nation in a couple of centuries. With that as a guide, we can assume they will not break their record any time soon. "Iran the great boogeyman," the potential existential threat to America is a lie, created to serve our foreign policy ends.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

they want to see some sort of solution" to three-plus decades of fractured relations

Yeah, "Wish you were dead" is always a good conversation starter.

Sam L. said...

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!

ken in sc said...

Death to (your name here), but don't take it personally.

ken in sc said...

"I'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal you."

Old song lyric. Just stay away from other men's wives.

Peter said...

Sometimes, when someone says they intend to kill you it's a real good idea to assume they intend to do just that.

Has all this "Celebrate diversity" crap has turned our brains to mush, to the point where we can no longer recognize enemies with lethal intentions.

Yes, I know: we have nuclear weapons, missiles, submarines, a military that's vastly superior to Iran's.

I also know that a few guys armed with box cutters took down the World Trade Center, blew a piece out of the Pentagon, and were only thwarted at the last minute from crashing into the White House.

Sometimes intentions count. Sometimes when someone says- over and over!- that they intend to kill you, you should take them at their word.

Archie said...

"Death to..." either someone or thing is a common Iranian construction. The same thing for the common American construction, "Eat shit..." in reference to these Iranian mopes.

AlanKH said...

It's not "many Iranians" we have to worry about. It's their leadership.

Robert Cook said...

You guys haven't learned a thing from the lies that fueled our illegal and ruinous war on Iraq, and our larger wars of terror overall. All the gub'mint has to say is "They is bad guys!" and you vibrate in Pavlovian terror and hatred of the phantasms you imagine will materialize in your towns and homes in dark of night.

The Godfather said...

What I'd like is for the Iranians to hear Americans say, Death to Iran! and wonder whether WE really mean it.

Robert Cook said...

Given our recent history, you can be sure they do, and they probably don't wonder, but know. We're the national manifestion of the protagonist in Richard Matheson's I AM LEGEND.

YoungHegelian said...

@Robert Cook,

Iran has not attacked any other nation in a couple of centuries.

Directly, yes. Through proxies & acts of sponsored terrorism --- your statement is almost certainly untrue.

The present Iranian regime looks back fondly on the deeds of the ancient Persian & Sassanian empires, and seeks to ascend yet again to those heights of regional glory. Iran's escalating response to Iraqi invasion of the Shat-al-Arab didn't speak to a regime that wanted simply to restore the status quo ante. Instead, the war produced some of the largest land battles since WWII.

If the fear of the Iranian regime is a product of our Pavlovian terror then you might want to explain how that fear has infected the Turks, the Israeli & all the Arab regimes.

BigFire said...

Words? Hey, I take whatever you said at face value. If you have stated you want to kill me, I'll prepare accordingly.

n.n said...

In America, words can mean exorbitant civil and even criminal consequences. A person can lose their life and livelihood over just words.

I think NPR needs to attend a diversity or reeducation camp. Their departure from the profitable narrative should cost them time and money.

Zach said...

I knew a lot of Iranians when I lived in Germany. Very nice people, and very friendly toward Americans (or at least, this American). Never confuse the policies of the government for the attitudes of the people.

William said...

Persia has a four thousand year history. In those four thousand years they never accomplished much in the field of antibiotics or electronics. Very poor record on women's rights too. It is, nonetheless, the opinion of the Iranians (and not a few westeners) that all of Iran's troubles stem from the coup that the CIA engineered back in 1950. Had that coup not occurred Iran would be the greatest, happiest country on earth. America was truly the great Satan waiting for just that fulcrum moment to destroy Iran's grand destiny.....Fortunately they were able to overthrow the American backed Shah. This enabled them to fulfill their glorious destiny. They were able to have that glorious war with Iraq. They were able to send their kids out to clear minefields. These kids would not be in paradise partying with sloe eyed virgins were it not for the removal of the Shah. Who knows what further glory awaits the children of Iran if they hold true to their ideals?

AlanKH said...

I don't think Operation Ajax was a good idea (even if Mohammad Mossadegh did kinda look like Dr. Evil), but i also don't think that some economic/technical quantum leap would have occurred without it.

Robert Cook said...

"If the fear of the Iranian regime is a product of our Pavlovian terror then you might want to explain how that fear has infected the Turks, the Israeli & all the Arab regimes."

Who says the friction among those states is equivalent to the "IRAN--BE VERY, VERY AFRAID" propaganda we're being fed by our government? Those states are regional neighbors, and adversarial relations among neighbors can lead to actual consequences to any among them. We, on the other hand, are at a far remove from Iran, and there is no realistic basis for us to fear them or to see them as diabolical plotters of our (or the world's) destruction. On the contrary, they have far more to fear from us than otherwise. In fact, we don't really fear them--our government, that is--but merely depict them as a force to be feared, needing "disciplining" and "containment" in order to ramp up approval by the public for an eventual war against them.

As I say, WE ARE LEGEND.

jason lemieux said...

Are you unfamiliar with the common practice of throwing around slogans without regard for their literal meaning?

jason lemieux said...

Are you unfamiliar with the common practice of throwing around slogans without regard for their literal meaning?

Robert Cook said...

Jason, if you're referring to me, I'm not throwing around a slogan, I'm referencing the title of Richard Matheson's book, I AM LEGEND. If you know the book, you know my meaning; otherwise, you don't.

Robert Cook said...

If you're referring to those bringing up the Iranian exclamation, DEATH TO AMERICA...never mind.